Thailand Post Examines Becoming a Virtual Banking Agent

May 2024

It has been reported that Thailand Post, a government-owned logistics company, is exploring the possibility of becoming a neutral virtual banking agent to complement the functions of emerging virtual banks. The organization intends to utilize its extensive network of 1,600 branches and a workforce of 25,000 delivery personnel to support this endeavor.

Becoming a neutral virtual bank agent presents a new business opportunity for Thailand Post alongside its existing financial and retail operations. A decision regarding its potential involvement in the evolution of virtual banks is expected to be made by June 2024, three months before the Bank of Thailand’s September 2024 deadline for virtual bank applications.

In contrast to the predominantly digital nature of virtual banks, Thailand Post could simplify these processes by offering physical touchpoints through its branches and delivery staff. For example, it could assist unbanked individuals or daily wage earners, such as migrant workers, in depositing their earnings through the virtual banking system. Delivery personnel could also introduce customers to various virtual banking services during home visits.

Thailand Post is currently in talks with several banks considering transitioning into virtual banks to explore the feasibility of a neutral banking agent partnership jointly. Additionally, the state-owned enterprise may consider acquiring shares in a consortium planning to apply for a virtual bank license. Discussions have occurred with major commercial banks and non-bank companies operating in diverse retail sectors, although these discussions are still ongoing.

Thailand Post sees potential in assisting lenders with various operations, particularly targeting migrant workers who may not receive pay slips from their employers as a key demographic for virtual bank services.

(Source: Thaiger)

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